Okeechobee
Soil & Water Conservation District

Ag Literacy Day

Ag Literacy Day

OSWCD Employees

OSWCD Employees

Unlock Your Farm's Potential

Unlock Your Farm's Potential

Announcements

Put any special announcements here.

Board Members

Board of Supervisors

  • District 1 Mariano Corona-Chair
  • District 2 Nicki Smith
  • District 3 Don Sellers, Jr.
  • District 4 Douglas Burnham
  • District 5 Glynn Rutledge
OkeechobeeSWCD

Board Meetings 

  • 2nd Wednesday of Every Month at 8:00am
  • Check updates on home page for any cancellations
  • OSWCD Board Room
  • 200 NW 5th Street
  • Okeechobee, FL  34972
  • Back of the building entrance
  • September 20,2017 meeting canceled due to Hurricane Irma.  Make-up meeting is scheduled for September 27, 2017
  • June, July, August-No Meeting
  • Local Working Group Meeting
  • Thursday, September 6, 2018
 

What We Do

 

Established by the Florida Legislature, the Okeechobee Soil & Water Conservation District, a governmental subdivision of the State of Florida, was established October 9, 1950 under Florida Statutes 582 by local residents for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of the County’s soil, water and related natural resources. The District is committed to preserving and enhancing the quality of life in Okeechobee County through conservation of its natural resources.

The Okeechobee Soil & Water Conservation District works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) creating ways to conserve water, prevent soil erosion, convert irrigation systems and inform the public about conservation problems.

A Code of Ethics has been adopted by the district.  For Code of Ethics Information. View Code of Ethics Here.

The Okeechobee SWCD operates under Florida Statutes 582 under the Florida Legislature.

Service Area

There are 58 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Florida, all organized by local constituents for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.

An elected five-member, non-partisan board of supervisors, who volunteer their services, manages each soil and water conservation district. Florida has 290 supervisors.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts are non-taxing and are supported by maintaining relationships and partnership with other government agencies.

 

Services Provided

  • Assist land owners in their efforts to secure financial assistance through Farm Bill Programs to implement conservation practices

  • Conservation education, programs and information

  • Assist growers with development of low volume irrigation systems

  • Develop and update irrigation water management plans

  • Soil surveys and historical maps

  • Local government advice and assistance
  • Youth education
  • Invasive plant control

 

Educational Programs

The Okeechobee Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors a number of programs that serve the Okeechobee County communities. Through community support and fundraising efforts, the district is working to build the number of services we are able to offer.

The annual Envirothon, Poster & Speech Contest and Land Judging are some of the educational programs with which we are currently involved.

If you are interested in volunteering for any of these programs, in having a district supervisor work with you on a project or in offering your support for our work, please contact:

Envirothon

The Regional Envirothon is a problem-solving, natural resource education program for high school students. It is a unique outdoor competition that requires teamwork and the application of knowledge in the five areas listed below:

  • Aquatics – water ecology, water chemistry, water quality, and aquatic life.
  • Current Environmental Issues – annually selected topics such as energy sources, ground water, Gulf of Mexico environmental concerns or other current issues.
  • 2016 Topic is Invasive Species
  • Forestry – tree identification, tree ecology, insects, and timber.
  • Soils – classification, formation, soil properties, profiles, and site suitability.
  • Wildlife – habitat, identification, food, disease, and management.

Each team consists of five students. Schools can enter more than one team, but no more than six teams. The five-member teams are led by an advisor in studying prepared resource materials in the five areas including a selected current environmental issue, which for 2016 is “Invasive Species, a Challenge to the Environment, Economy and Society.”

Schools can enter more than one team, but no more than six teams. During the competition, the students will rotate to the five testing stations.The Regional Envirothon is sponsored by the Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Soil and Water Conservation Districts, bringing together soil scientists, wildlife experts, foresters, park and recreational leaders, and other environmental specialists to challenge students to learn about our natural resources.

Poster Contest

The annual National Conservation Poster Contest provides kindergarten through twelfth grade students an opportunity to convey their thoughts about soil, water and related natural resource issues through art. It also highlights the educational outreach efforts of conservation districts and their state conservation associations, auxiliaries and agencies. The poster contest theme follows the annual Stewardship theme. The contest is co-sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts and the NACD Auxiliary.

Each year, the poster contest starts at the district level. Individuals and teachers with questions regarding district contests should contact their local district. To locate your local district search our state directory. District winners advance to the state level. For questions regarding state competitions, districts should contact their state association. Finally, state winners advance to the National Contest. National winners are recognized each year at the NACD Annual Meeting.

**PLEASE NOTE: Check your state poster contest sponsoring group to determine deadline and theme topic and correct poster size. Each state coordinates their own contest. Posters must follow your state’s guidelines to be eligible for the national contest.

Go here for more information.

Speech Contest

Okeechobee County Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors an annual speech contest, which is designed to develop leadership and stimulate interest in conserving natural resources.

Check back for more details coming soon.

Land Judging

Land Judging is an exciting 4-H and FFA contest in which Middle and High School students in observe and interpret the soil in order to make wise land use decisions.

The skills the teens use at the contest involve principles that can be valuable in career fields like environmental and agricultural management, natural resources conservation, home building, engineering, and construction. Students can compete at the local, state, and national levels.

The Okeechobee Soil & Water Conservation Districts host local middle and high school students in FFA and 4-H to test their knowledge by judging soils from four pits that are selected by a Soil Scientist with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

In each class (Middle 4-H, High 4-H, Middle FFA, High FFA) the local county winner may compete at the state contest in that respective class.

Top placing teams in the state contest are eligible to compete at the National Land Judging Contest held at the end of April.

Financials

Budget Information

 

The District’s fiscal year runs from October 1st through September 30th annually.

To view the District’s annual financial report visit the Department of Financial Services:

Get in Touch!

452 US Highway 98 North
Okeechobee, FL 34974
Phone: 863.763.3619
Hours: M-F 8:00am-4:30pm

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